Tuesday Tips for the Coaches of Chaos - 3.22.11

March 22, 2011, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

Fooled by Randomness

Readers of this blog may tire of how often I keep reminding us that by choosing sport as a way to develop leadership and character, that we must not forget that the outcome is out of our control, no matter how hard we work. We are now in “March Madness,” and this reality coaches and teams live in roars loud and clear in our brother team sport of basketball. Think of all the experts and talking heads who “know” the game – from those in the media who get paid big bucks to express it, to those in your office who submit it via the office bracket pool. Over at ESPN.com, despite 4.78 million entries, no one correctly picked every game through two rounds of ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge, and only four picked 15 of the 16 teams still alive. In fact, there were 6,776 brackets that managed to go 0-for-16.  So again, parents, coaches and players, I remind you to relax and enjoy the effort, hustle and spirited play, and know that winning and losing is temporary, but friendships last forever.

In the REAL first round of 64 on Thursday and Friday (not that "first round" of 4 teams that pigtail in, no offense to VCU's success or CU who deserved to be in also) it is just 32 match ups, but the odds of having a perfect bracket thru the first two rounds, according to the website www.bookofodds.com (this website is currently down, in the meantime, check out http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2009/10/14/book-of-odds-comes-out-of-stealth-to-make-intuitive-sense-of-statistics-but-can-it-sell-ads/ ) – a must visit by the way,  are just 1 in 13,460,000.  If you follow the optimal strategy of always picking the higher seed to win, your odds of filing a perfect March Madness bracket are just 1 in 35,360,000,000—almost 18 times worse than your odds of being killed by a waterspout in a year (1 in 1,988,000,000)


Controlled Chaos

Like Oregon football showed and we discussed this past season, you can get into gamelike shape in training – and get better at skills without as much “conditioning.” Here is another example of getting deliberate practice and in shape with specificity in sport….


What Sport Means in America

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) based here in Colorado Springs shares a press release regarding the findings of a groundbreaking research study, designed to measure Americans’ attitudes and beliefs about sport and the impact sport has on values and culture in America.


Some highlights that tie into growing the game together include:
- Parents overwhelmingly cite personal and social values when describing their hopes for their children in playing sport.

- Nearly 90 percent of U.S. adults agree that well-known athletes have a responsibility to be positive role models for young people, and by wide margins agree that the personal conduct of well-known athletes is as important as their athletic accomplishments.

- Coaches rank as the No. 1 positive influence on today’s youth involved in sport.
- Americans rank the use of performance-enhancing drugs as the most serious problem facing sport today, closely followed by issues such as the focus on money, and the criminal behavior of well-known athletes.

- Two-thirds of Americans agree that sport overemphasizes the importance of winning.

The Executive Summary is at www.USADA.org/outreach-research.

One on One Competition

My 14ers often play a fast warm up tournament of 1 vs 1 over the ribbon. When you only have one friend who is around and wants to get better at sport – you play 1 vs. 1, in hoops, races and other sports. William G. Morgan you might recall created volleyball over 115 years ago, with rules that STARTED with the game being played one against one. For a great example of this game, and the learning that can go on from such play, go to DAY 20 of the EAS funded website where one guy is playing 30 sports in 30 days in 30 different places, thanks to Jeff Steffen over at US Paralympics for the tip. I also suggest you check out a relative to our sport; this video is a trailer of the unstoppable tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km5KKgq_S6g

Choosing the Right Words

This cartoonist must have ready my blog on Choosing the Right Words….


Good Luck my Friend!

Thanks to Jason Trepanier up in Canada, this interesting Harvard Biz Review article is one worth being a positive parent, teammate and coach about…